Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas, Y'all

I'm getting on a train tonight -- 22 hours in a teensey private room with Brian, then Christmas day up in Vancouver with my grandmother, assorted aunts and uncles, and my Thompson cousins. So, until blogging can resume, here's a little treat I found on Schmutzie's website:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Oh, Tannenbama (or, Yes, We Tannenbaum!)

So we went and got our Christmas tree the other night.

When we got near the lot, I told Brian, "Stand here and go like this with your hands and I'll take a picture."

So he did.

I really wanted to get our tree here, because Obama looks so festive there with all the lights, and because it's in an abandoned lot that I used to walk by on my way home when I worked at New College.

The lot's next door to an abandoned house with painted landscapes in the boarded-up windows. I love abandoned things, and I've wanted to poke around in this lot for years. Thanks, President-elect Obama!

But trees there were like ten dollars more than the ones at the Delancey street lot (on Sanchez and Market), which is closer to our house. So we got a tree there.

Then we took it home and decorated it with popcorn and cranberries. There are actually a lot more strands on it now (a few with hot peppers on 'em, even!), but the camera's over at Brian's studio, so the pictures I took the other night will have to suffice. Sorry internet. You'll just have to take my word for it.

Then, while I was poking around in the chest where we keep things like ornaments and bits of clutter that need to disappear before guests arrive, I found this series of drawings I made a few years back when Brian and I were bingeing on classic Doctor Who. I think this was around the time we first made our acquaintance with the monster cat, as is evidenced by their subject matter. Apologies for the poor picture quality -- I'll scan these keepers someday.

(Oh! And in the interests of bringin' it all back home, have you seen the Dalek Christmas tree?)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

AAAAAAAAAAAAAH! ... Oh. Nevermind

So yesterday, I got a letter in the mail from my insurance company. The letter, which had looked so benign in it's bulk-rate envelope, contained the surprising news that my insurance had been canceled on September first of this past year.

Now, as all two and a half of you readers out there know, I've had a rather exciting few years, medical history wise. And it was absolutely not my intention to have canceled my health insurance. So, I was a bit surprised.

I called the 800 number listed on the letter, and spoke to a very nice woman who let me know that "all my policies" (dental and life) were current, and that nothing had been canceled "except for that old policy that was canceled earlier this year."

As the conversation unfolded it turned out that the health insurance policy had been evaporated due to lack of payment. Over the summer, you see, I had this whole snafu with my credit card involving weird charges and fraud and such and culminating with a new card being issued, and when I called the insurance folks to change my automatic billing information, they somehow had changed the billing information on only two out of my three policies.

"This is kind of frustrating," I told the nice woman on the phone who of course had had nothing to do with this course of events, "because the woman I spoke to this summer assured me that all three of my policies had been updated, and that everything was fine."

"I can send you an application if you'd like to re-apply for health insurance," she replied.

And then I had to get off the phone very quickly before I started sobbing and/or forgot the manners I learned on my mother's knee.

So I stayed up late last night, staring into the darkness and trying to figure out how I could get health insurance, when here I've had three surgeries in as many years and have handily used up my $3,500 annual deductible without even trying, and now I've got a note on my record stating that my previous insurance was canceled because I up and stopped paying for it and oh my god I'm going to end up paying an insane amount of money for even the eenseyest bit of coverage and die toothless and alone of, I don't know, consumption or something.

Finally, at about four in the morning, I decided that I wouldn't panic (any more) until I'd called again and tried a bit more forcefully to get the folks at the insurance company to see things from my perspective.

So I called again today and spoke with another nice lady. She offered to send me an application so I could re-up my policy, and I explained how that wouldn't really work for me, because of my medical history and the whole not-my-fault "non-payment" issue, and did I mention that it wasn't my fault? And she went and talked to her supervisor, who looked back at my file and saw that, oh, oops, there had been a computer foul-up that they'd discovered in a bunch of other people's accounts but had somehow missed in mine, and it never should have been canceled to begin with.

So I'm insured again. And the good news is, if I survived the past twenty-four hours, my heart must be pretty darn healthy.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Mother

For this extra-special Poetry Thursday, here's some Horace, by way of Ezra Pound.

This monument will outlast metal and I made it
More durable than the king's seat, higher than pyramids.
Gnaw of wind and rain?
The flow of years to break it, however many.

Bits of me, many bits, will dodge all funeral,
O Libitina-Persephone and, after that,
Sprout new praise. As long as
Pontifex and the quiet girl pace the Capitol
I shall be spoken where the wild flood Aufidus
Lashes, and Danus ruled the parched farmland:

Power from lowliness: "First brought Aeolic song to Italian fashion"—
Wear pride, work's gain! O Muse Melpomene,
By your will bind the laurel.
My hair. Delphic laurel.